Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just got the gas bill... Time for a new heatpack!

Its so cold this winter. This house has been expensive to heat so far. I have been using a heat-pack, but i think i need another to keep me warm at night. I get cold easily.

I decided to whip one up similar to the one i have. It has worked great and the design is good.

First i decided the size i went with, it is roughly 10 inches by 5. Deciding how to make the inside, i cut it out 11 by 10 inches. So then i could fold lengthwise to cut down on hassle.
I used a short stitch length and went over it twice, then went over it again with a zigzag. Once would probably be enough for normal use, I decided to make mine stronger because Munch has a habit of playing rough with mine.
I stitched up one short side, the long side and then just around the corner so it would be easier to finish off later. 

I made a rough funnel out of junk mail because Munch had disappeared with mine. Inside is rice, about 2.5 cups. I really filled it to how much i like it.

I took it back to the sewing machine and went over the opening twice with a short stitch length and then again with the zigzag. It is awkward to do it without the rice in the end, so just go slowly.

I took it back to my 'workspace' (read: floor in front of heater) and worked out how i wanted to assemble the cover. I decided if i cut it a few inches wider then the insert i could play around with fit. I just cut it the whole length of the fabric to make it easier.
Next I set the strip out of the floor with the insert on top. I fiddled around and decided how much i wanted the top to fold over and how far under i wanted the bottom side. I think i have an overlap of an inch or two. I marked it and then did a hem there.

You can sort of see how if it was folded properly, it would overlap. The side on the left will be the 'top' or 'outside flap'.

I then folded it as i wanted it inside out and sew up one side. Took it back to my workspace and worked out where the line for the other side needed to be so i could fit the insert in nicely. Once i had that decided, i went off to the machine and stitched that up.
Hard to see, but one side is stitched up here.

Then i trimmed the seams and turned it the right way out. I found shoving the insert in quite easy and folded the top over. It fit perfectly, length and width even taking all the rice into account.
Here you can see it compared to the old one and all finished.

I usually heat the old one up for 4 minutes in the microwave. This one, i popped in for 3 minutes and it is toasty hot, the old one, is just warm.
Also, my old one has instructions to have a mug with some water in it when you microwave it. I usually put in about an inch of water. I am doing the same with my new pack.

I used it overnight, although my old one keeps the heat for longer, its not so much longer that i would chase down a different filling for them. The rice is easier to heat up and therefore, i get warmer sooner.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Geometry Toy For A Toddler (Easy!)

I remember when i was young playing with a Geoboard. I used to love it.
So simple to create the shapes and always straight lines. Predictible but creative at the same time.
I was looking for something to make for Munch when i remembered the Geoboard.

Off to Bunnings. As well as everything else we bought (sometimes i feel like our paycheck should go straight to Bunnings) we picked up roughly a 2inch thick peice of wood, nails and a packet of elastic bands.
When we got home i used my quilting ruler to easily measure and mark 1inch square blocks. My husband cut the wood to the right size and sanded the edge he cut.

He then knocked nails into each junction on my pencil lines.
Once they were all in, the perfectionist side of my husband came out. He put the leftover wood on top and knocked on it with a hammer to make all the nails at roughly the same height.

While that was happening, Munch was doing some work of his own. 

Then off inside to play with it. 

I started by popping a few on to show Munch what you could do with it. He soon caught on and was easily able to put the elastic bands over the nails he desired.

For some reason, I find a pile of elastic bands so interesting. Maybe because they have so much potential?

Such co-ordination. (For some reason, i have tried uploading this photo 3 times, but its still not right, pretty annoying!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Crafty Ambitions

I have grand plans.
I always do.

I want to create, sew, knit, cook everything i love. Starting slowly.
I recently made myself the cutest handbag. I used a free pattern i found online Buttercup Bag.

On the inside is cloud fabric, outside is a cute fabric that reminds me of jellybeans. Its the perfect size for my phone, wallet, keys and tissues. I can still fit more in, but not alot. It is about twice the size of the bag i have been using. A wristlet made using this tutorial although i didnt make it patchwork like this one. 
The fabric used is in strips. I thought it would be an easy approach to get a similar look.

The pattern was very good. I only had a few issues. Mainly with my lack of experience or lack of explanation. One issue was when my friend and I tried to work out how to attach the metal clips. There was intense debate about the direction of the prongs, it turns out... blog world seems to be divided on the issue and its just for preference.

Outside. Didn't do the button detail. Couldn't find any to match.  

 Inside. Love how bright/unexpected the inside is.

Also I made the strap longer, i didnt want it sitting in my armpit like it looked it would be when i tested it.
Excuse the crappy photos. Each time i get a moment to take photos, its night time. The colours are brighter in real life.

I suggest if you make it, you use heavier fabric then just quilting fabric. I think i should have put interfacing on it, although when i bought new interfacing the other day, it didnt seem very stiff at all.

Magnet Closures : Turns out the reason people prefer to poke the prongs in is because it stops the chance of them rubbing on the fabric to wear it out. Also, i found a tip to cover the backside of the closure with felt to protect the outer fabric from rubbing. I dont notice it in the final product, but its nice to know i could have extended the lifetime of my bag. 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

About Me

I am a stay at home mother to a 3 year old boy. We recieved a phone call yesterday (while op-shopping) to give us some good news.
He has been given a place at the preschool i had wanted him to go to. I put him on a waiting list last week and he was 7th. Luckily (for us, not for the other family i guess) they decided a child wasnt ready for preschool so my son was bumped up the list and offered the place. They have had two beginner sessions already and Munch will start on Monday.
We found out Friday afternoon, he starts on Monday afternoon.

He is incredibly ready for preschool. Ready for new experiences and socialisation. I know he will thrive with this.
Am I ready? Heck no! I know he is growing up, but he is still my little Munchkin.
I don't drive so we will catch the bus/train. Its not really a long trip, 20mins in total. Bus from right outside our house to train station right near the preschool. I need to step up my game! I'm almost there, just need to perfect my techniques.

My husband is a shift worker. He has just started a fitness kick. He is so happy with his decision and im happy for him. Im starting to think, once i see his results, i will be motovated to join in too.

I love crafts. It helps me feel usefull and like i am making a difference. I knit, crochet and sew. I sometimes dabble in painting. Have also done beading and scrapbooking in the past.
It feels so satisfying to see Munch running around in a top that i have personalised.

What will i post here? Only time will tell.

Will it get off the ground?

This is the third blog i have started. Will i stick with it?